What started as local street style for musicians on the West Coast soon found its way onto the catwalk. Allow us to (re)introduce “grunge,” the latest look to make its comeback on our trend radar for fall.
Known for its slouchy and almost-thoughtless appeal, grunge fashion didn’t become mainstream until the birth of the Seattle sound, which combined heavy metal, punk, and rock ‘n’ roll in the 1980s. During this time, the musical subculture thrived and many bands like The Melvins, Green River, and Soundgarden — to name a few — defined the music scene. We also can’t forget the rise of Nirvana and its lead singer Kurt Cobain, who became the poster boy for the music (and fashion) movement.
By the ‘90s, the emblematic style became a global hit and soon enough, it caught the attention of a few emerging designers at the time. The grunge-inspired layered look was seen on the catwalk at Calvin Klein, dressing then 18-year-old model Kate Moss, while designer Anna Sui made funky prints and baggy ‘fits a runway staple at New York Fashion Week. In 1993, Marc Jacobs held a grunge-themed collection during his time at Perry Ellis, and carried the rebellious aesthetic eventually into his own brand, especially his Gen Z-focused line Heaven.
Since its inception, the grunge aesthetic has become known for its effortlessly uncoordinated look and designers are bringing back the edgy style on the runway more than 30 years later. On the Fall 2022 runways, grunge staples were seen everywhere, including shredded and faded denim, flannel button-downs, worn-out music T-shirts, and knitted plaid items. These pieces were often paired with black combat boots (with Dr. Martens being a fan favorite), along with accessories like choker necklaces, knit beanies, grommet belts, and chunky sunglasses.
As we gear up for fall, you might be looking for some #inspo for your wardrobe. Ahead, check out our top fashion items to channel the ‘90s grunge trend, including shredded mini skirts, chain necklaces, and more, ahead.
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